This seems like something different to what I normally produce but perhaps you won’t think so. Inspired by the glass and rusty nail ring I made two days ago, I thought it time to get on and use this rusty heart which has been awaiting my attention for Oh so long!
Originally it was intended to hold fat balls for the birds but the wind was always ripping it off the tree, I tired of hunting for it in the shrubs and set it aside to do something with. It’s been set aside for about a year but yesterday was the day I had an idea. I’ve lots of felt balls (waiting!), a rusty bell garland (also waiting! it was a new year bargain), a surplus bird (waiting! it was a sample from a commission), some newly died rug yarn and some leftover Teeswater curls.
I cut up the garland and hung it from the heart doubling the overall length. Somehow, just doing that makes it feel more of a statement art piece. Rust is orange / brown in colour so looks perfect with blue and I had some turquoise blue rug yarn. Silently thanking Yvonne for the suggestion to put some weaving in the heart, I used the rug yarn to warp up the shoulders and then wove the Teeswater curls through it. A few curls were tied on but I haven’t made the weaving solid as I want it to have holes and texture. Not sure if I should add some yarns through here, too just to give even more texture – opinions?
The bird was way too brown so I sat and couched on a fancy yarn in turquoise in my favourite flowing scroll shapes. Blue cap, throat and eyes completed the bird which I then needed to attach to the heart. The bird is too solid to push the spike into so I covered the spike base with an unfinished brooch layer (yes, it was waiting!), glued on some balls to cover the spike and glued the bird to the balls. Sort of looks like it’s on a nest of blue eggs doesn’t it?
I attached three blue balls to the bells below the heart and was very happy to find a turquoise ball the perfect size for the hole at the top. Sometimes, it’s just meant to be. I’d like to put this in the garden but we’re in a very windy spot and it just wouldn’t survive so for now it will hang in the dining room as soon as I get a ceiling hook.
Increasingly I’m moving to using and exhibiting my felt outdoors. It just seems a natural progression to festoon the garden with as much felt work as the house has received! This will inevitably lead to loss of colour in dyed wools but actually I don’t mind this idea. I’m excited by the thought that my felt will change over time by: becoming paler, stretching or shrinking, gathering moss, changing shade when it gets wet, perhaps even getting a little moth eaten. To watch it change (or not) across the seasons will be interesting.
So when I found some blue tatty rope on the beach I just knew it had to go outdoors. There’s a little spot at the back of the house which is long and narrow and for which I wanted to make a felt hanging. The best part about the rope was the loop at the top, a ready made hanging mechanism. Beach, blue rope, the hanging just had to be blue too.
I also like rust so I added a layer of tan merino to begin and allowed it to show at the edges slightly. I covered the rope with three shades of turquoise and blue merino, allowing it to break out and sit on top of the fibres in places. On top I used a few wips of tan and rust merino, ramie,silk and bamboo fibres in tiny quantites for a little sheen and a teal crystal organza to create more texture and give a hint of shine. It’s not a great picture of the hanging but I thought you’d like to see where it will sit. It is south facing so if I leave it there I’m expecting to see colour fading quite quickly.
Although I was very pleased with the hanging it just felt like it needed something more. I wondered what I could add and remembered my ever growing stash of beach glass. Excited I pulled out lots of lovely white (it was once clear) glass and sprinkled them on the felt. It didn’t work, but when I replaced it with brown glass I knew I’d hit upon the right thing. It was also lucky to find amongst my threads one in turquoise which was quite twisted. I’ve used some scrappy looking knots to fasten the glass on and positioned it near the rope. This has had the effect of making it look like it became trapped there naturally.
On a separate beach trip I’d found a lead weight from a fishing net and that’s what you can see tied to the bottom of the felt. I can’t decide whether to leave this on or not. It helps to weight the felt and stop it blowing about too much but I’m not sure about how it looks or if it will stretch the felt. It’s tied on using the rope which is embedded into the felt.
What do you think I should do about the weight, leave it on or remove it? This is a style of felt art that I’d like to do more of and be able to sell. What do people think, would you buy it? It’s not like a sculpture for the garden. It will be quite long lived but it’s condition will contsantly change. Will it sell?